Nov 17 2009 Posted: 00:00 GMT
The fourth in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will focus on the dramatic stars known as Pulsars. The free event takes places at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 25 November, in Physics Room 220, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. Pulsars have been intensely studied for more than 40 years and ongoing research at NUI Galway is seeking to solve some of the many remaining mysteries that surround these stars. The death of massive stars, a phenomenon known as 'supernovae', brings into being the neutron stars that are Pulsars, but there is still much to be discovered about their properties. The lecture will be given by NUI Galway's Dr John Mc Donald who says: "Pulsars are one of the most fascinating stars in the universe. Although relatively small physically, they are like galactic lighthouses, emitting massive amounts of radiation. In an area the size of Galway, a neutron star can possess the equivalent mass of our entire Sun. All of this matter and energy is contained within truly immense electromagnetic and gravitational fields, which spin up to 650 times a second". During the talk, Dr Mc Donald will explain the origins of these stars, starting right from the birth of normal stars, through their violent death, to their stunning rebirth as some of the most extreme and enigmatic objects in the known Universe. His talk will also discuss what is known and yet to be discovered about Pulsars, and the research currently being undertaken at NUI Galway s Centre for Astronomy. The series of public talks co-incides with the International Year of Astronomy which takes place throughout 2009. More details of all the talks can be found on